Pre op one week and counting

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mel har
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/9/2012 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi my names Mel and Im from Australia. Ive been suffering reflux for many years and have finally had it confirmed along with a 4 cm Hiatus hernia after many procedures and tests. I also have been told I have signs of Barretts although the biopsy did not confirm it, which they would like me to have regular endoscopys to keep an eye on it. Having tried everything else my last hope is the wrap surgery which I am booked in for next Wednesday. I was excited at first to finally be having the surgery and hopefuly be able to lead a "normal" life again. My daughter is getting married on the 23rd of Novemeber and as its only a matter of 5 weeks after my op Im a little concerned what to expect both pain wise and weight loss wise. I have not as yet bought my mother of the bride outfit as Im not sure if I will lose weight or not and would love to have advice from people who have had the op done and their experiences post op. My Dr has decided to carry out the partial wrap, can anyone tell me if it is as affective? Look forward to anyones help and advice and also to hear your experiences and how it may or may not have changed your life. smilewinkgrin I am getting quite nervous and somewhat apprehensive in regards to the post op pain.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 10/10/2012 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mel,
Welcome to Healing Well!  Glad you've joined us!  I had a full Nissen wrap in February 2009 and received lots of help and support here at the forum, so I decided to stick around to help others the way others helped me!  Congratulations on your daughter's upcoming wedding!  My son is getting married next August, so we'll be celebrating, too!
You're wise to consider weight loss after your surgery.  Generally people lose around 15 pounds in the first three or four months, then (unfortunately) gain it back once they're eating normally again.  It'll be an easy diet that won't require any will power! 
While everyone's healing is unique, you should be able to enjoy your daughter's wedding at 5 weeks post op.  You'll have some eating restrictions, but you should feel well enough to fulfill your duties as mother of the bride! 
Surgeons tend to underplay the challenges of recovery, and you will still have a lot of healing ahead even after the wedding comes and goes.  It takes a full 6 months for most of the healing and a year for the rest.  I found that I had improvements even into the second year.  Much of the late improvements are actually adjustments your body makes to the changes in the upper GI tract.
Since you're having a partial wrap, you should have much less of a chance of having problems with bloating and swallowing, so that's in your favor.  Partial wraps are just a effective, and some consider them preferable because they make the negative/bothersome side-effects less likely.  Several people here at the forum have had a partial wrap with good results.
The post op pain is very manageable.  Most people are only on the narcotic pain meds provided by the surgeon for two or three days, then switch over to liquid Tylenol or other OTC pain med.  Sometimes it's helpful to continue with the narcotic meds at night, because when the lights are out and it's quiet, pain seems to like to creep back and keep you awake.
Here is a good resource that provides information about GERD and treatment options, including the full and partial wrap:
Also, here is my early recovery journal, so you'll see what one person's first few weeks were like:
Here are two good post-op eating guides:
Again, glad you've joined us!  Good luck with your surgery!  We'll be waiting to welcome you into the Healing Well Wrapped Club! Please be sure to let us know how you're doing once the surgery is behind you!
Very best wishes,

Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

Post Edited (dencha) : 10/10/2012 8:00:42 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 10/10/2012 8:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mel,
Sounds like you don't have much choice then to have the surgery as unmanagable reflux is terrible and as we all know can lead to other complications, not to mention make our lives miserable.
As you are having a hiatus repair as well, did your surgeon mention mesh and if yes what type of mesh? Ask also is mesh neccessary.
I am also from Australia, had a 180 anterior (partial wrap) and hiatus repair in 09 that was very successful. I reherniated in 12 and had surgery again and unfortunately that repair his been quite troublesome.
As Denise said, the pain is quite managable. There will be some weight loss that you can gain back quite quickly if you are not careful as you will be able to eat stuff eventually that you probably haven't eaten in years. Be prepared also for little quirky things to happen like reflux symptoms that will make you believe that the surgery has failed. 9 out of 10 times this feeling will pass so try not to panic as most of us experienced that post op.
Again as Denise has implied, surgeons underplay things and they shouldn't. Giving patients more information results in less worry and a speedier recovery for us poor folks that he been putting up with reflux for years.
Good luck, I'm sure you will be fine. Any problems you have post op you will probably get some of the answers and reassurance you need at this site. Where abouts in Australia are you from and who is your surgeon?
Keep us all posted now. 

Post Edited (buzzmoz) : 10/10/2012 8:44:51 PM (GMT-6)

mel har
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/10/2012 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanx Denise for your wealth of knowledge and support and congrats also to you and your son on his upcoming wedding. I look forward to being able to share my experience on here and hopefully one day be able to help others in the future...So pleased I found this site ...Cheers

mel har
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/10/2012 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Gidday Buzz and thanks for your support. Im from Newcastle in NSW My Surgeon is Timothy Wright, Ive been assured one of the best in his field locally. I dont know anything about the mesh he may have mentioned something but I guess at the time I was a little overwhelmed and didnt take a lot in after the initial decision to go ahead with the surgery. Im pleased your wrap has been successful, but am sorry to hear you had a recurrence of your hernia. I will hopefully return after my op with some good news and be able to say it was all worth it....THANKS AGAIN.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 10/11/2012 5:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mel and Buzz,
On the topic of mesh, I do have one comment.  My internal tissue was extremely fragile when I had my surgery because I had been on high doses of steroids to keep me breathing.  My asthma was made terrible by my reflux (which, by the way, wasn't all that high on the DeMeester scale--actually quite low, which kept my GI doc from recommending surgery). 
Anyway, he said considered using mesh to reinforce the hernia repair, but "since mesh can cause its own problems" decided to put in a few extra stitches, instead.  I guess some mesh has eroded the esophagus on some patients.  His comment has come back to me whenever anyone mentions its use.
Gidday to both of you!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/11/2012 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Mel,

I am new to joining this sight but I can share my Nissen experience. I had the procedure Dec 2011

I had suffered fro acid reflux, coughing up food at night, all the usual stuff for many years. I never pursued treatment other than antacids and purple crack (nexium, I'll explain the funny name in a bit).

It was discovered that I was extremely iron deficient anemic (I also chewed ice compulsively for two years which I now know is a dead giveaway for iron deficiency anemia) The case was found very quickly. I had bleeding camerons lesions inside a bug old hiatel hernia. This made the surgery for me a no-brainer (we like to keep our blood).

I didn't really understand the surgery all that much really until after it was over. I don't know how much this done but I was also given a Gastric Feeding tube for 6 weeks. It can be used to vent in case of nausea or bloating post surgery to protect the new stitches from undue pressure. But the PRIMARY reason was to allow my stomach to scar against the abdominal wall in order to discourage it from migrating upward in the future...kind of like clamping two objects while the glue dries. I found managing this thing a horrible experience and have a new appreciation for people that have to live with these things, For me it was temporary at least.

I got used to the recommended diet. It is important as you don't want to have food that was too big surgically removed.

Probably the weirdest thing that happened to me was intense burning and pain in my lower abdomen about 3 weeks after surgery. I was on antibiotics for an infection and assumed it was that but the pain continued after. My surgeon couldn't explain it and I was getting ready to go back to GI when I stumbled across an interesting post. Though many doctors refute this, there is a condition (I don't know if it is a real medical term or not and I am NOT a DR.) called PPI Bounce back. PPIs supress acid production as opposed to neutralizing acid like TUMS.

I had gone off nexium per surgeon's direction because the problem was fixed...makes sense. The burning, I believe was hyper acid production due to going off purple crack (now you see why I call it that) suddenly and my body started producing excess acid. I didn't know what it was at first because I had never felt acid in my abdomen...only in my throat. I should have tapered off but since I had passed that point I simply did an antacid taper and within 2 weeks it was over. I have not touched a PPI or an antacid in 9 months.

I burp ok but I cannot vomit. I carry nausea meds with me and my family knows that if I ingest something that I SHOULD be vomiting up like tainted food and the like, that I need to go to ER for stomach pump.

I avoid alcohol and other risky stuff just to minimize the risk of an unplanned hospital visit.

Best wishes to you
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